26 Oct 2017

Political uncertainty hits jobs market

8:21 pm on 26 October 2017

Job openings and business investments have slowed down because of the uncertainty over the new Labour-led government, an economist says.

no caption

Job listings on Seek New Zealand have slowed down over the last couple of weeks. Photo: 123rf

Stephen Toplis, the head of research at BNZ, said many of businesses he spoke to before the election expected National to be in power for another three years.

He said the result has been a shock to many.

"They [businesses] will be scurrying around to work out what a Labour-led government actually means for them," said Mr Toplis.

"They should have been doing that before the election because there was always at least a 50/50 chance that it would happen, but I think they have just been blindsided by the changes."

He said many businesses will be holding off making investments or hiring staff until they have a better understanding of how Labour's plans, which include raising the minimum wage and reducing net migration, will affect them.

Janet Faulding, the general manager at Seek New Zealand, said raw data shows that the number of job advertisements have flatlined over the last two weeks, particularly in Auckland and Wellington.

"Expectation was that we were going to have a government formed... a little quicker than it actually happened, therefore hiring confidence slowed and people just wanted to sit back and wait and see what was going to happen," she said.

But Ms Faulding said a strong economy means the number of jobs openings should pick back up, particularly in the hospitality sector in the lead up to Christmas.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs